Last week I went back home to say goodbye to a friend. I wish I could have reunited with my old teammates under happier circumstances, but it was still amazing to see them- they’ve all become such beautiful, articulate, strong adults in the last five years. I know Spence would be proud of them.
And although the overall theme of the week for me was “try really hard not to cry,” or maybe just “wear really dark glasses so no one can see how bloodshot your eyes have gotten,” there were also strong undertones of “life is rad” and “treasure your days.” So, as I was out riding this morning, treasuring my day, it wasn’t surprising that the immortal words of Julie Andrews came to me:
“When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling bad- I simply remember a few of my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so baaaaaddddd!” (Accompanied by some really good dancing through the fields in clothes made of curtains…)
And while I appreciate white dressses, love blue satin sashes, and absolutely adore snowflakes that stay on my nose and my lashes- My favorite things tend to differ a bit from the song. (No offense, Julie.) So, without further ado, I give you: a few of my favorite things!
If you know me at all, you know I have a borderline-unhealthy obsession with oatmeal. I talk about it in class, on rides, and sometimes even at parties. On some days it’s the sole reason I get out of bed. I like my oatmeal with peanut butter and honey, a dash of salt, and a little flax on it. Lately I’ve even taken to making a little extra in the morning so I can eat it for lunch too, which answers the age-old question of “What’s better than oatmeal for breakfast?” Answer: “Oatmeal for breakfast AND lunch!”
It might have been a Calvin and Hobbes comic, or it might have just been one of my family members; but someone once said “You’re not having a good summer unless you have scabby knees.” So by that standard, my left knee in particular is having a really, really great summer. I think it might be because of my shoulder surgery this spring, but every time I fall I inevitably fail to throw my left arm out, causing my left knee to take the brunt of whatever beef the ground might have with my body. Therefore it’s either been actively leaking blood, passively leaking puss, or recovering from some other random trauma for pretty much the entire summer. Poor knee.
3. Saint Jude.
Yes mom, I stole this candle from our house. No, I do not plan to light it under, next to, or anywhere near my bed and then forget about it. I probably won’t even light it at all, so please try to get some sleep. The thing about Saint Jude is that I know nothing about him other than the fact that I love him. Like if I were ever to worship anything, it would probably be this candle. There are three reasons why: One- He has, inexplicably, a flame growing out of his forehead, yet he looks remarkably calm. Magic? I think so. Two- He is holding, inexplicably, a gigantic penny. I don’t know where they even make pennies that big, but if you ran one through the squisher at water world it could probably fit about six whales on it. Or hawaiian-print flowers. Or golden gate bridges, if you’re at the golden gate bridge and that’s what you’re in to. Three- Saint Jude burned faithfully for all four rainy, dark hours at Spencer’s memorial. He did good.
Note: If you are Catholic and this last bit offended you, please disregard it completely. We’ll pretend it never happened.
You know what I mean. Bike-sploring! Come on, it’s when you’re on a ride and you see something cool that must be explored. You get off your bike, leave it somewhere, and hike around in your torturous carbon-soled shoes in order to get a better look at whatever it is that might need exploring. The other day, Augie and I bike-splored a little spur off the trail, which just so happened to lead us to a very nice, secluded potty spot. It was well used.
5. Montana Wild Flowers.
One of my favorite signs on the trails right now says something to the effect of: “You think it’s a wildflower, but it’s not. It’s really a Noxious Weed!!! Capital N, capital W. My question is this: Does it really matter? They look pretty cool. I bet some animal up there can manage stomach them. Or if not, their weed-poisoned bodies can just become part of the circle of life… What harm are weeds really doing? Yes, I’m sure I’m being totally ecologically ignorant, but I liked seeing BOTH the wildflowers and the noxious weeds up there today.
6. Prepping my bike for worlds.
They told me these spoke accessories were for little kids only, but when one appeared on my bike, I’m positive it made me at least 6X faster. Time to go see if the ol’ wagon wheels will fit into my bike box!
So there you have my top six favorite things. Runners up (and these are things I like just as much, but which I couldn’t be bothered to take pictures of) are: yogurt that has been frozen in the freezer, my purple vans, and Aretha Franklin.
Thanks always for reading! Next up: battle out East.